'Be safe at Hogmanay' call from Edinburgh's health and council chiefs

Council bosses and the Capital’s public health chief have joined forces to urge Hogmanay revellers to celebrate the New Year ‘safely and responsible’.

By Stephen Wilkie
Friday, 31st December 2021, 12:30 pm

NHS Lothian’s Director of Public Health Dona Milnehead backed calls from council leader Adam McVey and his depute, Cammy Day as Covid numbers continue to soar.

The latest public health guidance, which was effective from 26 December, limits the numbers at outdoor public events to 500, resulting in the cancellation of the live events planned for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay including the Torchlight Procession, Party at the Bells, midnight fireworks and the Loony Dook.

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Cancelled: Edinburgh's spectacular Hogmanay celebrations attract thousands from around the world.

Councillor McVey said: “As we approach Hogmanay, case numbers are continuing to increase significantly and I want to echo the First Minister’s advice to stay at home as much as possible in the coming days in a bid to slow down the spread. And if we do get together with friends and family, please limit this to no more than three households.

“Large gatherings at Hogmanay risk increasing further transmissions in our communities and put further pressure on our NHS staff and other vital services. I can’t stress enough the importance of following the rules around handwashing, mask-wearing and ventilation and testing. Visit our website for details of community testing sites or to order a home testing kit.

“As 2021 comes to an end, and with more people getting vaccinated and boosted, we can look more positively towards 2022. But for now, and this Hogmanay, please keep following the guidance and keep yourself and your family safe and protect our NHS.”

He was backed by Ms Milne, who urged: "Please do not mix in groups of more than three households and take a Lateral Flow Test before you go out or have people round. If you have not already done so, please make getting your booster your first priority of 2022.

Public health chief Dona Milne urged Hogmanay revellers to celebrate 'responsibly'.

“By taking these small steps, you can help stop the spread of Omicron.

“Remember, the Omicron variant is much more transmissible than previous strains. Although a smaller percentage of infected people may need hospital care, it is a smaller percentage of a far greater number of people, so still a lot of people.”

Deputy Leader Cammy Day added: “The safety of Edinburgh’s residents remains our priority as we continue the battle against Covid-19 and the latest Omicron variant. This has meant that sadly no live events, including the midnight fireworks, will be taking place this year.”

Full details of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay film can be found at www.edinburghshogmanay.com

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